Jimmy C. Newman Dies

GRAMMY-nominated country/Cajun singer dies at 86
  • Photo: Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images
    Jimmy C. Newman
June 23, 2014 -- 10:27 am PDT

GRAMMY-nominated country/Cajun singer Jimmy C. Newman died June 21 in Nashville, Tenn., following a battle with cancer. He was 86. A Louisiana native, Newman began playing music as a teenager in Chuck Guillory's Rhythm Boys. Newman later performed on the country music radio show "The Louisiana Hayride," mixing his patented style of Cajun music and country elements. He landed his first hit on the country chart in 1954 with "Cry, Cry Darling," followed by 1955's "Daydreamin'" and "Blue Darlin'," both of which peaked at No. 7. In 1956 Newman became the first Cajun artist to join the Grand Ole Opry. Newman remained a frequent performer on the Opry stage where he often sang what is considered his signature hit, "Alligator Man," which peaked at No. 22 in 1962. Newman was awarded a 1991 GRAMMY nomination for Best Traditional Folk Album for The Alligator Man.     

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